Strategic Business Futurist, Certified Speaking Professional, and Certified Management Consultant Gioia [joy-yah] has helped thousands of clients envision and create their preferred futures, including companies like American Honda, Caterpillar, Petronas, Procter & Gamble, and AT&T. A respected professional speaker for over 15 years, Gioia has spoken in 47 states and on seven continents. Featured regularly in US media like Forbes, The Economist, Business Week, and Entrepreneur, she is also co-author of five books, including the popular bestsellers Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People and How to Become an Employer of Choice. In 2013, USA TODAY named Gioia their first Road Warrior of the Year. This award launched her TV career; she has been on local and national television over 60 times in the last 2 years.
Hello and welcome to the Dr. Nilda Business Foresight Show. Today I have a very awesome guest with me that I’m very excited to have and honestly did not even realize who she was until a few minutes ago. I didn’t realize all that she brings to the table so I am super excited. So, guys if I am jumping out of my skin bear with me. First of all, I want to introduce my co-host Rachel Calderon.
Then I want to introduce Joyce Gioia.
I am so pleased to be with you here today Nilda. It’s so important for people to think about the future and so often they don’t.
Let me read your bio so that they know exactly who you are. Joyce Gioia is a Strategic Business Futurist, Certified Speaking Professional, and Certified Management Consultant Gioia [joy-yah] has helped thousands of clients envision and create their preferred futures, including companies like American Honda, Caterpillar, Petronas, Procter & Gamble, and AT&T. A respected professional speaker for over 15 years, Gioia has spoken in 47 states and on seven continents. Featured regularly in US media like Forbes, The Economist, Business Week, and Entrepreneur, she is also co-author of five books, including the popular bestsellers Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Too Few People and How to Become an Employer of Choice. In 2013, USA TODAY named Gioia their first Road Warrior of the Year. This award launched her TV career; she has been on local and national television over 60 times in the last 2 years. Join me in welcoming celebrity futurist Joyce Gioia.
Yes, we are so thrilled that I am going to ask that very first question because her bio shows that she is the celebrity okay and now my question to you Joyce is what is a celebrity futurist?
A celebrity futurist is someone who is accustomed to being in the public eye Rachel. Someone who knows how to talk about the future in a way that people can easily understand it. In a way that people want to hear more. In a way that people want to take that information in and use that information to make their lives better.
Joyce one of the things that has been the greatest struggle, as much as I love futuring, I find that I’m an anomaly in most places where I tried to speak about it. I’ve considered myself and I decided that I am a crusader for futuring only because I realized the impact that it has on business, on careers, on anything that you want to do for the future. Most human beings, most of us, spend a lot of time planning for the future but we’re not planning in the areas that mean so much. Which is our organizations, our careers, our future, our personal and business future. You’ve been doing this for 25 years. Have you found the same problem?
When I tell people that I’m a futurist they look at me like I have three eyes. They say what’s a futurist. That’s what I tell them which I have shared with you that as a futurist I help individuals and companies to make better decisions by knowing what’s coming. I think that that’s a pretty succinct way of communicating the benefit that we provide and the process that we go through.
Spoken like a true marketer. Rachel always tells me Nilda you need to tell them the benefits of features. She says you get too caught up in talking about all the other things. What is the benefit to them? What are the features that benefit them? You’ve spoken like a true marketer.
But the benefit has to come first you know and that’s what Rachel keeps telling you. When I was writing copy and I was an award-winning copywriter once upon a time what I discovered was that most copy is really poorly written because they always want to put the features first. It’s putting the cart before the horse right, Rachel?
Yes, it’s so true.
Because people don’t care really what the features are. They want to know what’s in it for me? What’s it going to do for me? How is this going to make my life better?
From a marketing perspective how do you feel that futuring really makes that difference in the way that they are perceived and in the direction, that they’re going?
Well futuring makes everybody more successful because they know how to position themselves and they know how to position their organizations. I mean if you are for instance a toy store. And you can look at the demographics of the community that you’re in and see that there will there will be a preponderance of say grandparents in your community. Then you want to market to the grandparents to buy it for their grandchildren and of course you want to say free shipping. If you are, let’s take another kind of business, a beauty salon. You’re looking at who’s in your community because typically beauty salons draw from the immediate community. I’m choosing two small types of small businesses. But if you are seeing that there’s a preponderance of 40-somethings for instance you would want to market your services as something that people could do for themselves that would make them feel special. Because typically 40-somethings are the sandwich generation in their sandwich between their parents and their children and there’s precious little time for themselves.
One of the companies that I really look up to is WII. They were gaming. They took gaming to the next level and it was pretty much because they understood the future. They understood the position they were currently in which is gaming and that was a very difficult entry point because Sony and Microsoft had taken it over. What they did was that they looked at the future and said you know what why not make gaming for the elderly and even for the baby boomer who wants to exercise while making it a game. They must have been working with someone like you if not you directly. Someone like you who was able to tell them that future so that they can take their small company and embark in an area that was already saturated. Maybe not saturated but was definitely monopolized by these two companies and they were able to break through.
That gets me into a whole different realm may I mind jump with you now?
Because one of the things that I see as a real benefit to companies like that is that they give people an opportunity to exercise at home. Now it’s true that you do need to have more willpower so that it gets done then the average person might have who ends up going to the gym because they know that if they go to the gym then they’ll exercise. But I think that it’s such a great thing. I record on my DVR all kinds of exercise programs. There’s something called the Esmond technique. We have Google Fiber here in Austin now we’re blessed. But I’m sure that a lot of the other systems have this as well. So, yoga and Esmond and I used to have 90 episodes of Gilad bodies in motion. I have like 60 episodes in my computer so that when I go all over the world and I fly all over the world to work as you may well know I can bring it with me. It’s part of what helps me to feel good and look I’m guessing younger than my age.
It’s also the state of mind and how does it make you feel? It’s not always how you look because sometimes you can look fabulous and not be so healthy. The reality is that it helps you with mind clarity. There’s so many benefits to exercise because there’s so many other areas. I think the feature is to look better to look younger but the other benefits outweigh by far those features.
The investment that you have to make in order to get there I agree.
Can I go back we keep talking about futuring and I know that Dr. Nilda would totally understand this part we struggle with people understanding it. Why is it so difficult when we talk to people about fututing and we’re bringing them those the benefits and the features but they still have this horrified stared look. Even when we bring it up in marketing it is important and they just stay there like deer in headlights like what do I do? What do you mean? How much does that cost? We all pre-plan. We all have to do financial planning. All of that is a part of futuring. I know that you’ve done this for so many years. Why do you feel that futuring is so difficult for people? Why is it so hard for them to comprehend?
Rachel, you really know this it’s just that maybe you’ve forgotten it. But you need to communicate the benefits in a language that they will understand. There are three ways that you can do that. One is if I can help you make better decisions would you be interested in learning more about that? That’s number one. If I could help you make more money would you be interested in knowing more about that? Number three if I could help you be less stressed because you had a confidence. My friend created an expression for me to use in my book Moving into the Future with Your Head in Your Heart which never got written but the expression is grounded courage. That’s what you’re giving your clients. Grounded courage because you’re grounding them in a competence and a confidence so that they have the courage to move forward in their lives.
Now that you’re talking about moving into the future with your head and your heart what does that mean?
Well it means that you’re moving into the future and quite literally whether we like it or not we’re all moving into the future because time marches on. You want to have your head because you want to have your wits about you. You want to have an intellectual understanding of what’s going to be coming but you also want to have empathy, the compassion, the understanding that comes from being a heart centered person. That’s what it means to me.
The beauty is that it’s true our business has become a heartbeat. We pour so much into them. We pour everything we know everything we have into our businesses. So, to believe that this is only going to be a cognitive change a cognitive thinking well now you know the future. It’s a farce because our businesses are very emotional. Those become our babies. For my business it’s my baby I birthed it I feed it every day I make sure that it grows and I’ve always so much that I pour into it that it really becomes your heart. I love this concept of your head and your heart because yes although we want to make cognizant you know brilliant decisions for our future we also have to bear in
mind our heart.
I’m seeing a really interesting development from a management consulting point of view that I haven’t seen before. Very interesting development and that is I did two interviews with two different business owners. One owns two hotels in North Carolina and the other one owns a bunch of restaurants in Austin and elsewhere. As they talked it’s like they elevated this value to a point where I had not heard it elevated to before. The word is empathy. And what they’re saying which I never heard before is we want our employees it’s a matter of EQ. One of them the guy in North Carolina even rates people based on empathy, compassion, and their emotional intelligence quotient. These kinds of amorphous things that make us human beings and I’ve not seen that before. They’re looking for their employees to have empathy not only with the customers but also with their fellow employees. It was fascinating and I can’t wait to finish that article I’ll send it to you when I get it done. It’s all about creating positive employee experiences and of course I’m going to use whatever I have there to inform that chapter of the book that I’m writing as well.
Here’s the thing though to me it just it makes sense. I come from a psychology background my Master’s is in clinical social work and I totally get that because happy employees they’re really the frontline. They’re the frontline to your customers. Often times you never see your customer so you have to make sure that that the employee experience that the employee emotional quotient is developed because that’s so important. They’re the ones that are the frontline. They’re the ones that are going to make the difference in what direction your business goes.
If they’re getting along with each other things are going to run much more smoothly and you’re going to be driving much more bottom-line profit.
They’re going to feel more valued. When they get along with others it makes them feel more valued because they’re looking at each other’s strengths and there’s no bickering. There’s harmony and harmony is always good. it’s always a positive thing.
Harmony works in all kinds of ways because everybody is less stressed. The organization is more productive it just makes everything better.
I love it so you are the CEO of the Herrmann group tell me a little bit about the Herrmann group. I have read many of your articles and I want you to tell me and the audience about the Herrmann group. What you do and how this could benefit them because your articles are really fabulous?
Thank you. I write the Herrmann Trend alert it goes out to 29,000 people in 90 countries in four languages every week. I cover you name it the future of, I’ve talked about VR being used in marketing, I’ve talked about Pokémon go, this week was self-driving trucks, but it’s not all technology. I’ve talked about CRISPR which is a new gene splicing process that can make a huge difference with cancer and other diseases. I’ve talked about the future of retail, the future of travel, the future of meetings and the future of well you name it. I get to play in so many sand boxes I just love it. Although my focus as a consultant is on the future of work. I also by the way own the organization employer of choice international incorporated in the United States and that gives me the right to certify employers as being employers of choice. I focus on the future of work and my background was in marketing. Then it evolved into internal marketing. Then HR and the 5 business books that I’ve written were mostly in the future of workspace and what organizations would need to do in order to move into the future with success. The latest was called Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs Too Few People. There are many industries right now that are experiencing that to a very high degree and many of them are just not doing the right things to create those positive experiences for their employees. There’s a lot of work to do in the management. I do a lot of work in hospitality. I love Hoteliers. Mainly because you know that you and I have this in common we live to serve. Hoteliers have that same attitude and that same mindset that that they want their people to live to serve so I just love working with hoteliers all over the country.
When you’re talking about employment how does that look for careers? There are so many kids in school and a lot of these careers that they’re going for and that they’re being educated in are going to be obsolete in a very short time.
Very short time, yes. The Cambridge study I think is already out of date do you know what I’m talking about?
There was a Cambridge study for your audience. There was a Cambridge study that was done that looked at the different occupations and the degree to which they were vulnerable to being automated. A friend of mine has a robotic lawyer that he’s working on. We used to think that the professionals were going to be immune no way.
They’re not anymore. I see that even in my career. As a social worker any therapy even, that is taking a huge leap and a huge change. Again, a lot of these careers and a lot of kids that are going to school to position themselves for these employments eventually are going to be outdated and much sooner than later. Futuring is something they should definitely be on top of.
There was a trend alert that I wrote not too long ago called the future of employability. If you run into any young people I would highly recommend that you send them to that trend alert because it talked about which skills are going to be valued as we move into the future as we have more automation. It’s really interesting the developments that I’m seeing from my perspective where connection is going to be more important than ever. But, that connection is not going to be in person so that people can hug. It’s like we’re connecting here on zoom’ which is a fantastic platform we have just purchased it for the association of professional futurists as you know. By the way before we end I do want to let everybody know not only that they can sign up for the Herman trend alert at https://www.hermangroup.com/trend_alert_main.html but that APF which is https://apf.org/ is going to have something called friends of foresight. It’s a new designation that we are launching to give people who are interested in foresight an opportunity to be connected to us as professional futurist and yet they may not be futures themselves. They may not be interested in being professional but they have a real strong interest in the future and so we’re going to be cultivating them to work with us.
That is up my ally because like I said I’m that crusader teaching foresight and becoming future conscious that’s what I talk about constantly.
I love that expression Nilda.
It is so essential that future consciousness it’s not a one-and-done. This is something that has to be constantly revisited because trends are changing quickly. I think most of the fear with many of my clients when they come to me is they’ll tell me I really love what you tell me but I can’t make all of these changes. I said small consistent changes is better than no change at all so, don’t feel that you need to change everything just more consistent changes and that’s what you need to focus on. I want you to tell me about your book because it is coming soon.
Probably in four months five months at least in the e-book edition. It’s called Experience Rules: How Positive Experience Can Drive Profit into the Future. It’s all about not just employees and customers which is how most companies think about it. They talk about the user experience or the employee experience they don’t talk about the very important other experiences like the experience as an investor, the experiences for boards, the experiences for communities, for families of employees and customers. All of these things. The role of gamification in creating a positive employee experiences. There’s just, if I could use a 50-cent word, a plethora of different communication and different relationships that organizations have. I believe that as we move into the future we are going to see that organizations will have a CEXO that term was coined by Cynthia Wagner from the world future Society which is chief experience officer. Now there’s already a CX0 which is chief marketing officer or chief experience officer for just customers and employees or customer or patients and employees. But this is different because this is looking at the whole gamut of different stakeholders’ different groups that have a stake in the success of that organization.
I think this is good and your book will be out in about five months?
That’s my expectation yes.
We look forward to having you back so that we can talk about that book.
Joyce, I know that you have a secret to life. Will you share with us that secret?
I will share with you that secret. My secret to life is to keep finding things that you love to do and then find ways to get paid for it.
I tell you it has been such a pleasure to have you here. I think this information is so important for the audience. I know that the last 18 months they’ve kind of been growing with me and I think having futurists like you here giving them this information is just going to I always say at least awaken their attention to the future. And if that’s the least do that’s wonderful. But most I would love to see their growth and their interest in futuring.
By the way I forgot to mention something terrific. APF is going to start doing courses in January or sometime in the first quarter.
I would love to teach one of those courses. I want to thank you I am so thrilled that you here. I’m so thrilled that you shared your expertise you are a brilliant woman. I love everything that you do. I don’t know how you have all the energy to do all that you do but you love what you’re doing. When we love what we do we do more of it that’s how it is.
My parting words are when you love what you do it’s not work it’s never work it is joy. Go for the joy.
I want to thank you and to the audience we will be having a lot more futurists coming in the very near future. Again, this is going to be a conversation that we are going to really delve deep in. We have so many futurists from so many different walks of life that are doing futuring. It doesn’t matter what business you in you’re going to find the person that’s going to bring you to the future. I look forward to having you in a few months again Gioia until then goodbye.
#DrNildaShow #BusinessForesightShow #DrNildaBusinessForesightShow
#Joyce L. Gioia #Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP (pronounced joy-yah)